Cheap flights to Valencia
One of the most beautiful cities in the whole of Spain; Valencia is also its most up-and-coming with an energy that sets it apart and a host of colourful festivals that will impress even the most experienced of travellers. While it might not be as famous as its sister cities of Madrid and Barcelona, Spain’s third-largest city Valencia more than holds its own when it comes to entertaining the many tourists that pass through its walls year on year. Best known for being the home of Spain’s most famous dish, Paella Valenciana, as well as the legendary El Cid, and the world famous Holy Grail – don’t question its authenticity, it is the real thing, honestly!
It’s also home to some of Spain’s most unique architecture with an old quarter complete with narrow streets and gothic buildings, a medieval fortification or two, museums, cathedrals, bars, cafes – we could go on. Valencia also has an ultra-modern side that boasts Spain’s second most visited tourist attraction; and no it’s not a mosque, or a cathedral, or even a palace. It is, however, the collection of some of Europe’s most mind-blowing architecture that makes up the City of Arts and Sciences – think organic-looking white spaceships and you’re on the right track. This ‘city’ not only houses a multi-functional arts and music centre, an interactive science museum, a planetarium and an IMAX theatre, but also Europe’s largest aquarium; truly a first of its kind in Europe and something that the locals are very proud of.
Remember the sun cream when you head out to one of the great city beaches such as the less touristy Patacona. The sun is almost guaranteed to shine and you're not going to be in any rush to leave once you get settled on a lounger, cold drink in hand. visitvalencia.com
The Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas houses the National Ceramics and Decorative Arts Museum. This incredibly ornate baroque building, both inside and out, is well worthy of it's €3 entry fee. Make sure you take time to view the ornate Rococo style Nymph's Carriage.
The Fallas festival happens every March, turning the city into a three week long party. Huge art sculptures make the streets come alive, and there's a light festival, fireworks, and plenty of parades, too. For more information go to visitvalencia.com.
With two teams in the top tier of Spanish football there is La Liga action most weeks of the year. Tickets can be bought at the Levante UD and Valencia CF shops in the city centre or at both teams' grounds leading up to and including the day of the game.
In 1957 the River Turia flooded and laid waste to almost three quarters of the city. This lead to an ambitious plan to divert it away from it's original path to the Mediterranean. Completed in 1969, the old river bed is now a most wonderful park, stretching some 10km - which allows you to traverse Valencia without crossing a road.
A day at Valencia's Modern Art Institute (IVAM) is a wonderful way to get to know local artists. This month the show based around Barcelona sculptor and artist Pablo González is particularly good. Entry is €2, free on Sundays. For more information visit ivam.es.
A visit to The City of Arts and Sciences is a must for any visitor to Valencia. The futuristic buildings designed by Valencia born architect Santiago Calatrava, with an opera house, aquarium, science museum and IMAX cinema among other things, will make you feel a million miles away from the more traditional parts of the city.
Get away from the sweltering heat by taking a refreshing afternoon siesta. The tradition is very much respected here, and pretty much all shops and businesses close from 1.30pm till 4.30pm, including museums. If you're hungry during the siesta hours, however, you'll usually be able to find a tapas bar open and catering to the peckish passer-by.